‘Fantastic Four’: Tim Blake Nelson Says Script Has ‘Real Heart’ and ‘Soul’

Published 12 months ago by

fantastic four 2015 reboot details Fantastic Four: Tim Blake Nelson Says Script Has Real Heart and Soul

Director Josh Trank’s critically-acclaimed feature debut – the found-footage high school life sci-fi/fantasy parable Chronicle - pushed him a fair handful of steps up on the Hollwood ladder, which is why he’s now calling the shots on 20th Century Fox’s reboot of the Fantastic Four movie franchise. Trank’s past work in the department of stories about people being granted super-powers make the situation all the more intriguing, when it concerns what to expect from this 2015 cinematic interpretation of the famous eponymous Marvel superhero “family.”

For one, it’s known that this Fantastic Four will follow the example of the Ultimate Fantastic Four comic book universe in some respects. For certain, that includes having younger versions of geeky Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic, maternal Sue Storm/The Invisible Woman, cocky Johnny Storm/The Human Torch, and hard-edged Ben Grimm/The Thing – brought to life in Trank’s F4 movie by, respectively, Miles Teller (That Awkward Moment), Kate Mara (Transcendence), Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station), and Jamie Bell (The Adventures of Tintin).

F4 reboot screenwriter Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past) has described Trank’s film as a “coming of age story,” which is something that’s been echoed in fresh comments made by actor Tim Blake Nelson. The well-respected character actor offered his thoughts on the F4 script during an interview with Tulsa World (Nelson, for the record, was born in Tulsa), following the news this week that he is in final talks to join the film’s cast:

“Yes, it’s pretty much closed, with me playing Harvey Elder, who becomes the Mole Man. I absolutely loved working on ['The Incredible Hulk'] and feel extremely blessed that Marvel, Fox, and especially (“Fantastic Four” director) Josh Trank and his team have invited me back into the universe. The script is excellent. It has real heart, and it shows a true understanding of what it is to be a burgeoning adult geeked out to the margins.”

Nelson, in case you forgot, also costarred in Marvel Studios’ The Incredible Hulk as Samuel Sterns, a character who (in the traditional Hulk comic book lore) eventually becomes a super-villain known as The Leader. However, much like Nelson played an ordinary person in the Hulk movie, he isn’t expected to evolve into Mole Man during the course of Trank’s Fantastic Four series reboot. (Whether or not that will also hold true for the sequel already planned for release in 2017, well… that remains to be seen.)

Tim Blake Nelson in The Incredible Hulk Fantastic Four: Tim Blake Nelson Says Script Has Real Heart and Soul

Tim Blake Nelson in ‘The Incredible Hulk’

As demonstrated by this weekend’s new release The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (read our review), it’s not always easy to balance telling a superhero story that explores meaningful human issues with action and world-building. However, even though Trank’s Fantastic Four is being made with the intention of being the first chapter in a new saga, Nelson promises that it will offer plenty of dramatic substance to go along with all the flash and sizzle:

“Without going into detail, the script has as much soul as it does action, and it has a lot of action. We’re all going to have [a] blast making it.”

It’s early days, of course, but already a number of hardcore fans have been quite vocal about their mixed-to-negative feelings towards the direction that Trank is taking with the story and casting for the Fantastic Four reboot. While the film may seem like it’s going to be an unnecessarily radical re-design of the superhero franchise to some thus far, the list of talent people working on this movie (actors and filmmakers alike) reads as pretty dang solid on paper.

That is to say: if Trank’s film is, in fact, a significant departure from traditional spins on the Fantastic Four property, it may well turn out to be a pretty good-to-excellent one, judged on its own terms. We’ll see what actually happens, of course…


Fantastic Four opens in U.S. theaters on June 19th, 2015.

Source: Tulsa World

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Not really looking forward to this movie…I always thought the Fantastic Four were kinda lame to be honest.

    • Did you read FF when John Byrne was doing it?

      • I’ll check it out…

        • You’ll see who Ben Grimm is. That is why jamie Bell’s casting was the worst. The new FF won’t have Ben Grimm in it.

          • If Trank had half a clue what to do with the FF he would have cast Channing Tatum as Ben Grimm. But, this is a Trankwreck.

            • Channing Tatum? That’s why fanboys had no credibility. I’d rather have Jamie Bell, comic book lore, aside. He’s simply a much better actor. I could hardly care about how Ben Grimm looks considering he’ll just turn into the Thing 1/4 into the movie anyway.

              • Troll.

              • Fans of the comics know bout the comics. We are the reason that the first two FF movies made over $600 million before 3D increased the box office receipts.

  2. This is going to be the best superhero movie of the next three years.

    • No, Incredibles 2 will be ;)

  3. Unless the trailers blow me away, I will pass. Nelson should have brought back by Marvel to play the Leader. He is a good choice for Mole-Man, but this movie seems like a waste of source material. No outer space for starters.

    Also, it is very telling that Nelson is now on point as the person describing the film. I have no doubt he will be great in his scenes, but many other doubts about this movie.

  4. Just give the movie rights back to Marvel already!!

    • That really is the most overused and irritating comment that is routinely posted here.

      • I agree. Why would Fox ever give it back to Marvel from a business standpoint? Some people on the internet shouting “give the rights back to Marvel” won’t change this.

      • Agreed, I mean do all these commentors wanna see these movies after 15-16 years, either that or the films like Dr Strange, Ant-Man, GoTG are not on their list.

  5. @GC, me neither. The only thing they had going for them was Doom IMO. Galactus was okay but he was always written as someone not big on intellect. Surfer had no personality. For me as a kid (on the Marvel side) it was basically X-Men & Spider-Man. Hulk was too strong and his rogues gallery never stood out.

    For this flick, I don’t really care whether it strays from source material or not. Even Marvel Studios modifies their version of the MCU, but I bet people overlook that. Anyway, the only thing that matters is whether the reviews are good for this one. If it’s another 90 minutes of origin telling like the FF movie from the 00′s with only 1 action scene near the end, I’ll pass.

    • Same here with your choice of Marvel comics…also some Ghost Rider (cuz of the Spidey crossovers). Like many as that time – I was the kid buying anything Todd McFarlane did; my tastes definitely evolved though. I went after his Hulk comics as well (which were freakin pricey at that time). Same with his Batman stint.

      • Jim Lee ruled, Rob Liefeld’s style also seemed a little goofy for me.

        • Rob Liefeld has very skewed proportions and can’t draw feet.

    • Galactus not having any intellect isn’t surprising because he basically sees humans as insignificant anyway so why bother writing anything other than him being a gigantic threat in the same vein as the more traditional monsters that don’t give us a second thought while they go about their business?

      I agree though, I read FF and Ultimate FF via book collections I have every month and saw the movies too and the FF just aren’t my cup of tea. They might be Marvel’s “First Family” but I find them boring.

  6. Josh trank is calling the shots because he came at a cheap price, he should have done something
    Else more interesting. Man this movie is going to be one of the biggest blunder storytelling of
    All time with their ridiculous cast and kindergarden synopsis.

    • Totally agree. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  7. The Fantastic 4 was already made into an amazing movie. That movie was “The Incredibles.” The 2005 F4 was disappointing after seeing the brilliance that the mouse house delivered one year before.

    Now the reboot of f4 is coming and Disney is giving us Incredibles 2. I hope both will be good movies (because I like good movies), but I know which one I expect to do a better job.

  8. The pic of the Fantastic Four is misleading isn’t it? I thought Johnny Storm/The Human Torch is black now?

    • From the picture, it looks like Johnny and Sue could be from the same parents…

      • Please. I respect your opinion for not liking the film, but you two really need to come up with better excuses instead of “Johnny Storm is black! wtf!” Jordan is perfect for the role, and there is nothing about Johnny, story-wise, that forces the character to be white in other iterations of the material.

        • There is nothing story-wise that requires any of them to be male/female or even human. Reed and Sue got married, had Franklin. They could be the same gender and adopt Franklin. Johnny and Sue watched out for one another because they were siblings. They could be childhood friends now.

  9. ” coming of age story .. ” ? God as if this movie already didn’t have enough things wrong with it now it’s being passed off as the breakfast club with super powers …. jeez give me a break , how incredibly disappointing .

    • No doubt, the last thing you think of with Reed Richards and Ben Grimm is a coming of age story.

  10. “Heart and Soul” alright…I can “heartly” imagine me watching this dribble, and it will give me heartburn to think what they have done to the fantastic Four, one of the early comics I started reading from Marvel with Issue #1. As for “soul”, how about the sole of my shoe, when I boot it out the door?

    For those who find them boring, perhaps now, but in the early days of their comics back in the 60s, they fought Dr. Doom, The Mad Thinker, The Red Ghost, The Mole Man, The Frightful Four (especuially!), got married (reed and Sue, natch), etc ., plus had your odd bout with space and inter-dimensional baddies and The Inhumans, and later on Galactus and the Silver Surfer, plus encountered The watcher, and they were actually pretty good and interesting. In fact, they were one of several comics that got me really hepped up on reading Marvel Comics (I also read DC).

  11. With all due respect to those expressing reservations, I have not heard anything about this that causes me to doubt that it will be good on its own terms. The complaints seem to be based on its apparent divergence from the classic/canonical Fantastic Four. Of course that is a legitimate complaint for a fan to make. However, from my perspective, this franchise needs to be adapted creatively to work as a modern film, so I’m still optimistic about it.

    • I agree.

  12. Only read about 6 F4 comics before got over them. The only thing I can hope for right now is a good movie & hopefully they will deliver. Don’t miss an opportunity just because you’re a fan.

  13. If it isn’t being made by Marvel Studios we all obviously have to write it off as a piece of crap before we even see it right?

  14. Just redbox this movie for a buck .

  15. “Heart and Soul” ..haha…man o man,of course he has to say that if he wants to sell it !
    He is staring in it !

    Sounds Awful !

  16. This movie has real heart and soul, but no real fantastic four.

    • +1

  17. Solid? The only thing solid about this film, is the certainty that it will only be watched by people who don’t have a clue about the comic book or characters and that it will fail miserably at the box office. What a shame!

    People at Fox think they are being so “smart”. f4 Crap with small letter!

  18. People need to stop referring to this movie as the Fantastic Four. Simon Kinberg already went on record saying that even by the end of the movie the words “Fantastic Four” won’t even be in the script to describe, you know, The Fantastic Four. They’re trying to depart from the source material so much that the name of the team won’t even be mentioned in this origin story. I don’t know about anybody else but this is yet another in a chain of decisions that in my eyes doesn’t bode well for this movie.

    • Man Of Steel only referred to Superman once because he wasn’t quite Superman until the very end after the Zod fight.

      Likewise, Arrow has avoided the term “Green Arrow” because nobody’s thought of using that name yet. Smallville went through 10 seasons without using the name “Superman” for its main character either.

      All of which makes me wonder why you’re complaining. I mean, I could see Johnny saying near the end “we need to call ourselves something cool and catchy to market ourselves, why don’t we use something like….The Fantastic Four or something?” and that’s how they get their name because it takes an arrogant person to give themselves a memorable name like that.

  19. This movie just needs to be aborted & flushed down the toilet where it belongs…NOW.

  20. This will STILL not be the Fantastic Four movie that I want to see, the weirdest casting choices ever!!!

  21. I don’t remember FF4 being a “Heart and Soul” comic? Is this because they are having a black guy be Johnny? Is this suppose to be Korean Drama-ish to the extent of Spidey2? Wait, wait…I get it! The audience is suppose to cry when the family finds out Johnny was misplaced at birth! That explains the color change. Hmm, no.

    “Heart and Soul”, hmm…ok. Mabye the DVD will explain it more.

  22. Possible Spoiler Alert:

    I believe I know why Jamie Bell was cast as Ben Grimm. Bell will be playing a soccer/football star from the UK, probably from Northern Ireland. Reed will be a current or former Rhodes Scholar from Kentucky or Tennessee.

    Just a guess. Not sure I like it, but Bell’s casting makes some sense to me now.

    • Johnny will be a Football star. here will be a scene(s) with Ben and Johnny playing football/soccer.